Burns Bog Conservation Society members elected two new directors at its recent AGM and adopted initiatives aimed at attracting younger members and volunteers.
On June 18, BBCS members who took part in the meeting via Zoom re-elected former Delta resident and founding society members Derek Zeisman to a third term as president, as well as the rest of the executive: vice-president Liz Walker of Surrey, treasurer Ed Brown of Delta and secretary Nancy Brown of Langley.
Also re-elected were Beverley Bly, Pixie (Beverly) Hobby, Clare Hurst and Kirsty Peterson, as well as new directors Al Dinis and Shrinath Dwivedi replacing outgoing board members Dr. Lynne Mackenzie and Angela Rebrec.
Biographies of all directors will be soon be posted on the society’s website (burnsbog.org).
“I’m honoured to be re-elected as the society’s president,” Zeisman, a legal officer with Global Affairs Canada, said in a press release. “I appreciate the membership’s confidence in my leadership, and the positive new direction taken by the board since our last AGM in June 2021.”
“I’d like to thank all the members who took the time to support our team at the AGM,” Zeisman said. “I also want to congratulate our new 10-member board. We have a great group of directors for the 2022-23 term, including many returning faces and several new ones too. I look forward to working closely and co-operatively with them over the coming year.”
Zeisman said the new board plans to strengthen its internal relationships with staff, volunteers and members, as well as with key external stakeholders including Metro Vancouver, the City of Delta, and both federal and provincial governments, among others.
“We remain concerned that Burns Bog’s complex and diverse ecosystem is coming under ever-increasing pressure from urban development, whether industrial, commercial or transportation-related,” Zeisman said. “Our mission remains to protect and preserve the bog, while understanding the need for responsible but limited economic activity within its vicinity.”
Zeisman also said the society is taking “concrete measures” to attract a new generation of young members and volunteers to the organization, including eliminating annual membership fees for students “to ensure that limited financial means are not a barrier to supporting environmental activism,” according to a press release.
He also announced the society is planning for a new post-secondary environmental scholarship to celebrate its forthcoming 35th anniversary in 2023. The society has hired a youth stewardship co-ordinator to improve the scope of its outreach to young people and assist with the planning and launch of the new scholarship.
“Youth are the future, not only for this society but for the world,” Zeisman said. “Today’s generation of young people is more environmental conscious and ecologically friendly than anything we’ve seen previously. We must reach out to tap into the energy and ideas of our young people if we’re to protect Burns Bog and advocate for its best interests over the long term.”
“With the ever-growing cost of post-secondary education, we want to ensure this society plays an active and positive role in training the next generation of environmental leaders, who will take Burns Bog into a new era of ecological conservation,” he said. “The challenges imposed on the bog by climate change make this objective more vitally important than ever.”